Invitation to Attend the 2020 Virtual AFS Summit

Invitation to Attend the 2020 Virtual AFS Summit

Dear AFS-USA Volunteer,

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones in good health and good spirits.

We’re all eager for the stress of this pandemic to be removed from our lives – I know I am – and hopefully we will see that happen soon. For now, there are plenty of AFS-USA activities to distract us. Today, I am writing to invite you to the 2020 Virtual AFS Summit, which will be held from November 12-15, 2020 and is open to all AFS-USA Volunteers. If you haven’t already done so, you may register here.

This year’s Virtual AFS Summit is a very important one as it will help all of us to continue laying the groundwork for rebuilding AFS in the United States. As you know, our organization has been deeply impacted by the pandemic and we’ve had to make many adjustments in response to it. Whether it’s the dramatic reduction in staff or the very small number of students coming and going, the effects are far-reaching and have handed us some of the most challenging hurdles we’ve ever faced.

However, we at AFS are resilient, and we will RISE. The National Council, in their Summit planning, described the Summit theme quite perfectly:

“Together, we seek to RISE above the challenges of 2020 and endeavor to rebuild by focusing on local communities and developing team initiatives — to Recruit, Integrate, Sustain, and Evaluate – building a stronger volunteer base and more empowered volunteer teams.”

For the last decade, the AFS Summit has provided attendees with the chance to network with old and new friends and to participate in learning opportunities. Afterwards, they return home with a new set of best practices, new resources, and renewed energy for the coming year. I believe that our 2020 Virtual AFS Summit will allow us to offer the same opportunity to even more volunteers next month.

Many AFS Volunteers, around the world, have felt significant disappointment due to the absence of AFS students in their communities. It deprives us of that which gives us the most joy – watching AFSers and their host families form those lifelong bonds while also helping them through the inevitable challenges along the way. For most of us, this gives us a significant level of motivation that keeps us going until the next group of students arrives.

I’m convinced that the Virtual AFS Summit will restore the motivation and joy that you’ve missed. Whether or not your chapter or Area Team is fortunate enough to be hosting or sending this year, the Virtual AFS Summit will give you a needed boost.

I hope you will register for the Virtual AFS Summit here and that I will see you there when we kick-off on Thursday evening, November 12th. More specifics about the agenda will be shared on MyAFS News next week.

As always, thank you for all that you do.

Tara M. Hofmann
President & CEO